Ulysses Dietz to lecture on ‘modern’ at Rago gallery, Jan. 18

Ulysses Dietz

Ulysses Dietz. Image provided by Rago

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – On Thursday, January 18, Rago Arts and Auction Center hosts Newark Museum curator and author Ulysses Grantz Dietz as he delivers a presentation titled, “It Was All Modern: Art, Craft and the Rhetoric of the Marketplace.”

Every object, when it was made, was modern. Chippendale called his chairs modern; so did Frank Lloyd Wright. “Modern” as a style is a construct invented in the 20th century to promote the aesthetic agenda of modernists at the expense of any style that didn’t follow their rules. This idea has been transmitted to the marketplace and into the museums that benefit from that marketplace. This presentation looks at a range of modern objects, from the 1890s to the 21st century, and explores different meanings of “modern.”

Curator of Decorative Arts at the Newark Museum since 1980, Ulysses Dietz has organized or hosted over 100 exhibitions during his tenure, ranging in topic from quilts to jewelry and from colonial to contemporary. His proudest achievement was the dramatic restoration and reinterpretation of the Newark Museum’s 1885 John and Jeannette Ballantine house, a national historic landmark. The first restoration was done in 1976 for the national Bicentennial, and the latest completed in 1994. Dietz is the author of over a dozen books, and scores of articles and essays on every topic from furniture and silver to all sorts of ceramics.

The auction house opens on Thursday, January 18, at noon. A wine and cheese reception begins at 5 p.m. The presentation will begin at 6 p.m.

Please R.S.V.P. to raac@ragoarts.com or call 609-397-9374 ext. 119. Guests are welcome even if unable to R.S.V.P. in advance.

Visit Rago online at www.ragoarts.com.

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